Personally I prefer the Muppet version…

Last night I rounded up the whole fandamily (all three of us) and headed down to Costa Mesa to see South Coast Repertory’s 28th season of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Bah!

This rendition of the beloved holiday tradition doesn’t bring much new to the table. It’s a tried and true quaint production with very distinct community theater undertones.

That’s not to say the production was bad, it was just what you would expect – it delivered the perquisite ghosts and humbugs and redemptions we’ve all come to expect from any incarnation of this Dickens classic.

The adaptation was clumsy, the dialog was casual-contemporary and there wasn’t an English accent in the entire cast – maybe that was a blessing. One thing that stuck out like a sore thumb was a fair amount of color blind casting.

I don’t really mind mixing it up with people of all races I suppose, but it was a bit incongruous. In the case of young Ebenezer it was down right distracting. According to this particular production, Scrooge began life as a nice Latino boy who grew into fine Indian fellow and then eventually an old bald white man. I really don’t care what race you make Scrooge, but I feel you ought to pick one and stick to it.

Despite all the distractions, the silly adaptation and questionable acting from some of the youngsters there was a nice warm sense of familiarity about the whole affair. If you just sit back, relax and let the production wash over you like a nice cup of hot cocoa, you’ll find it to be the comforting holiday tradition you know and love.

Heck, as long as you get to hear Tiny Tim say “God bless us, every one”, you got your money’s worth.

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